Mark Cuban is certainly one of the more outspoken dot com billionaires. I like the fact that he writes regularly for his blog, and has done so for years. Like many who have achieved remarkable success, he has a lot of important lessons to share.
1. Be hungry: He always dreamed of massive success and wealth. Even from a young age.
“I drove by big houses and would wonder who lived there. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, I would tell myself, I would live in a house like that. Every weekend I would do it.”
2. Have a courageous vision: He always knew that he would start his own business (in spite of some self-doubt), and he did. (Remember courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to pursue a course of action in spite of fear).
“If I ever grew up, I hoped to run my own business some day. It’s exactly what I told myself every day. In reality, I had as much doubt as confidence. I was just hoping the confidence would win over the doubt and it would all work out for the best.”
“I’m always afraid of failing. It’s great motivation to work harder.”
3. Do something you love: He loved working in the computer business.
“More importantly no, most importantly I realized that I loved working with PCs. I had never done it before. I didn’t know if this was going to be a job that worked for me, or that I would even like and it turns out I was lucky. I loved what I was doing.”
4. Focus for long hours at will: He setup his own company from scratch when he was 24. He enjoyed working so much (and was also highly motivated) that he would stay in the office until the morning.
“I would get so involved with learning a new piece of software that I would forget to eat and look up at the clock thinking it was 6 or 7pm and see that it was 1am or 2am. Time would fly by.”
5. Persist- never ever quit: After his secretary stole $83k out of his $85k business bank account, he picked himself up and decided to just keep going.
“No one was going to cover my obligations but me. I had to get my ass back to work, and do so quickly. That’s exactly what I did.”
6. Read more than anyone else: He read every book, magazine, and manual he could. He used it to increase his knowledge and get more business ideas. He called it the “knowledge advantage”. He still reads for 3 hours every day. He also read everything relevant to his industry.
“Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out most people didn’t want it.”
7. Learn from the elites: He watched Michael Dell and Bill Gates closely (in terms of how they ran their businesses). He watched the movements of other great companies, and emulated where he chose to.
“Watching the best taught me how to run my businesses.”
8. Work harder than others: “There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, and try to put yourself in a position where if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it. I would also say it’s hard not to fool yourself. Everyone tells you how they are going to be ‘special’, but few do the work to get there. Do the work.”
9. Be prepared to sacrifice: ”I went seven years without a vacation (from the time I got fired from a job, and started MicroSolutions). I didn’t even read a fiction book in that time. I was pretty focused.”
10. Create conditions that help you get lucky: “In Business, the odds are a little different. You don’t have to break the Mendoza line (hitting .200). In fact, it doesnt matter how many times you strike out. In business, to be a success, you only have to be right once. One single solitary time and you are set for life. That’s the beauty of the business world.”
“No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because…
All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”